Notre Dame Cathedral Fire is Extinguished

Notre Dame Cathedral Fire is Extinguished

Spread the love

 

PARIS – The fire “is totally off”.  The phrase, after several hours of struggle and uncertainty, seems at last to bring some relief to the community of Paris, in shock since yesterday afternoon the news was announced, and the networks and newspapers of the world were filled with images: the historic cathedral of Notre Dame had caught fire.

 

“The fire is completely extinguished” and the emergency services are “studying the movement of the structures and extinguishing the smoking residues,” explained Gabriel Plus, spokesman for the firefighters of the capital of France.

 

“The work during the night was to control the fire so that it would not be reactivated,” Deputy Interior Minister Laurent Nunez said in front of the building. “Now that the fire risk has passed, the work is on the building to know how it will resist”.

 

"The work during the night was to control the fire so that it would not be reactivated," said the vice minister of the Interior
“The work during the night was to control the fire so that it would not be reactivated”, said the vice minister of the Interior Credit: DPA

 

What remained was the blackened structure of the monument immortalized by Victor Hugo in a novel in 1831, which survived nearly 900 years of tumultuous history. The two emblematic bell towers of 69 meters high of the temple remained intact and were packed with specialists and architects, who evaluated the state of the building from early in the morning. The needle and the roof of the cathedral, however, disappeared.

Now the authorities are preparing to meet to determine the steps to follow and detail a reconstruction plan that should begin as soon as the investigation is complete to find the causes of the accident.

 

The causes

The authorities believe that the fire was due to an accident, possibly as a result of the restoration work carried out at the site, an architectural jewel of global relevance.

The church of the twelfth century contained relics, stained glass windows and other pieces of art of incalculable value and was one of the main tourist attractions of the city.

Fire at Notre Dame: completely extinguished the fire and ruled out that it was intentional
Fire at Notre Dame: completely extinguished the fire and ruled out that it was intentional Source: AFP

 

The exact cause of the fire is still unknown, but the French press reported that a fire brigade indicated that the fire “could be linked” to a $ 6.8 million renovation project on the church spire, which contained 250 tons of lead.

The prosecution ruled that it is arson or that it has possible motives related to terrorism.

 

The tributes

On the other side of the Seine hundreds of people watched Notre Dame during a good part of the night, alternating songs and prayers to express their “great sadness” for the fire of the cathedral.

The fire started in the restoration works of the roof
The fire started in the restoration works of the roof Source: AFP – Credit: Bertrand Guay

 

Dozens of people gathered in St. Michael’s Square, a few hundred meters from Notre Dame, to pray the rosary.

“It is moving to see this fervor and this crowd, we were in prayer communion with millions of Christians around the world”, said Etienne Vermersch, “a practicing Catholic”.  “There were incredible scenes, two veiled women came and recited the Ave Maria with us… Some incredible signs of fraternity”, added Béatrice Reneaume, a 23-year-old nurse who claims to have “prayed in hopes of stopping the flames.”

 

Around 1 am, the authorities partially restored circulation. Thus, each time a fire engine passed, the hymns stopped and gave way to applause “to thank them”.

Flames engulfed the roof of the cathedral during the afternoon
Flames engulfed the roof of the cathedral during the afternoonSource: AFP – Credit: Philippe Lopez

 

COMMENTS